Veterans face a different kind of war after returning home

(Kaitlin McCulley, WIAT-TV)
(Kaitlin McCulley, WIAT-TV)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1369437549&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&pl_id=21958&show_title=1&va_id=4071664&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1369437549 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The sights and sounds of war are difficult for many of us to watch on film, much less, survive.

58-year-old Willie Jones fought in the Vietnam War, but ever since, he’s been fighting another war within his own mind.

“I tried to find someone to be a friend or something, always run into the wrong crowd because all the right people were at work somewhere,” Jones says. “That’s what I found out.”

That’s when drugs entered the picture to help him cope with feelings of isolation and depression. He wonders how his life could have taken a different path had someone helped him learn how to live outside of a warzone.

Christopher Blain served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“If somebody just hands you a card and says hey, if you’re feeling a certain way, call this number, that’s not really the best way to solve it,” Blain says.

Blain also finds himself at the Salvation Army. He suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to alcohol.

If you’re driving around on a highway, you’re going to be looking for roadside bombs,” Blain says. “You can’t just turn that hyper-vigilance off.”

With the help of the Salvation Army and the VA Medical Center, both Jones and Blain are trying to find their way again.

Jones is a few days away from entering a drug rehab program at the VA. Blain hopes the VA will be prepared for the next influx of troops coming home with yet another battle to fight.

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